Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Church Technology Planning

I was recently contacted by some old colleagues to assist schools with creating their technology plans. For some schools, the technology plan is just another paperwork requirement to get different kinds of grants. For others, the technology plan can actually serve a useful role in guiding how technology can be used to help students learn, teachers teach and administrators administrate.

I'm wondering if a similar planning process would be helpful for churches. A good technology plan might include a built in replacement policy for equipment (ideally a plan for regular upgrades and a three to five year replacement cycle). Also useful is a policy for dealing with donated equipment. I've seen so many junk computers dumped on schools by well meaning people, and have seen similar equipment in church offices. (As an aside, please don't send old computers to Transylvania. By the time you pay to ship them, you might as well wire money to buy equipment there or in Hungary.)

My son just got back from a district youth con. The youth I drove mentioned the wireless internet available at the host church. How might we plan strategically to use online resources in religious education effectively? What sort of training is needed and what are the minimum resources necessary to be successful? And what are the potential downsides?

As an educational technologist, I suppose I am at first glance somewhat skeptical of technology at church. But it seems to me that the level of technology in each congregation is increasing, and the minimum requirements for acceptable production values in our society are getting more complex. We must not let the cart get ahead of the horse however. As Einstein put it, "The perfection of means and confusion of ends characterizes our age."


At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Jason Powell said...

I 100% agree with your notion of say no to donated computers.

Why would anyone think a computer that isn't good enough anymore for their home or business is somehow of value to the church!?

The idea that the church is a good place to drop off your junk really gets under my skin.


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